It’s the first great movie of 2014, and it’s only taken 10 days to get here.
“Her” sounds absolutely ridiculous on the surface: A lonely guy (Joaquin Phoenix) starts dating his computer’s operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).
But “Samantha” is a sophisticated, funny, there-at-every-beck-and-call presence in Theodore’s life. She’s less Siri, more HAL 9000 — a flirty, sassy HAL 9000.
And in the hands of writer-director Spike Jonze, it’s a moving look at the nature of love and the difficulties of being in it.
Here are eight more reasons you should see it:
1) It’s certainly not like anything else you’ll see this or any other year.
2) Johansson lends Samantha her full vocal range, from a breathy whisper to that sexy voice-cracking thing. It’s the closest thing to Oscar-caliber voice work you’ve ever heard.
3) The citrus-colored, barely recognizable Los Angeles of the “slight future.”
4) Arcade Fire composed the music.
5) The “aural sex” scene with a random chat-room user (voiced by Kristen Wiig) that’s one of the most awkward, hilariously uncomfortable exchanges you could ever stomach.
6) The adorably foul-mouthed virtual reality video game critter (voiced by Jonze) that hurls expletives at Theodore and Samantha.
7) Phoenix’s mad dancing skills.
8) The fact that Theodore, an awkward mumbler with a pedophile’s mustache, can not only find “love” but have a blind date played by Olivia Wilde eating out of his hand should give hope to all of us.